UF athletics program finishes 2nd


Published: Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 10:42 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 10:42 a.m.

A dozen top-10 finishes in national championship action - including a pair NCAA titles - led the Florida athletics program to its second consecutive second-place finish in the 2012-13 Learfield Sports Directors' Cup. The finish matches Florida's highest ever in the annual all-sports rankings and marks Florida's fifth consecutive top-four finish in the rankings. Two NCAA titles highlighted Florida's finishes, as seven teams placed among the nation's top five.

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The 2013 National Championship trophy on a table during the championship celebration for the Gators 2013 NCCA Gymnastics National Championship, at the O'Connell Center, April 22. Along with the national championship the Gators won several individual titles, Bridget Sloan won an individual championship as well as won beam, while Alaina Johnson won the uneven bars.

Brad McClenny/Staff photographer

Facts

2012-13 Learfield Sports Directors' Cup Standings
Rank, School, Total*
1. Stanford: 1261.25
2. FLORIDA: 1244.75
3. UCLA: 1227.25
4. Michigan: 1138.25
5. Texas A&M: 1131.50
6. Penn State: 1100.00
7. Oklahoma: 1078.25
8. UNC: 1075.33
9. Notre Dame: 1015.50
10. Georgia: 1006.75

Florida is the only program to finish among the nation's top 10 in each of the last 30 national all-sports standings. The Gator program also was second in 2011-12 and 2009-10 and tied for second in 1997-98.

The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup, presented annually by the nation's athletics directors, recognizes the schools with the best overall sports performances in an academic year. Points are awarded based on finishes and participation in 20 NCAA Division I sports. Stanford received its 19th consecutive Directors' Cup at the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) convention earlier this month. UCLA was third followed by Michigan.

The 16.5 point margin between first and second is the closest in the 21-year history of the Directors' Cup.

Florida's 12 top-10 national team finishes in 2012-13 equals the third-highest in school history, as at least 10 Gator teams have turned in top-10 finishes in each of the last 12 seasons. The program's record of 14 top-10 finishes came in 2009-10.

Gymnastics and men's outdoor track & field claimed NCAA titles in 2013. Florida became the fifth program to win a NCAA team title at the national championship held in April in Los Angeles. The Gator men's track & field claimed a share of its second consecutive NCAA Outdoor title with three event wins on the final day- triple jump, 4x100- and 4x400-meter relays.

The complete list of Florida's 2012-13 top-10 teams includes:

- Gymnastics (No. 1)

- Men's Outdoor Track & Field (No. T-1)

- Men's Indoor Track & Field (No. 2)

- Women's Tennis (No. T-3)

- Men's Basketball (No. T-5)

- Lacrosse (No. T-5)

- Softball (No. T-5)

- Men's Swimming & Diving (No. 6)

- Women's Swimming & Diving (No. 6)

- Soccer (No. T-9)

- Volleyball (No. T-9)

- Football (No. 9 AP)

"What a season for the Gators. There was so much to celebrate right from the beginning of the fall all the way through the final competition of the spring. It was certainly fun to see the Gator gymnasts raise their first NCAA title trophy and the men's outdoor track & field team claim their second-straight championship," Florida Athletics Director Jeremy Foley said. "To finish second in the Directors' Cup requires many Gator teams to advance and perform well in NCAA Championship action. We certainly appreciate and applaud the effort shown by our student-athletes and coaches as they compete among the nation's best."

In Southeastern Conference action, Florida equaled the record with eight league crowns in 2012-13 action (men's basketball, women's cross country, gymnastics, soccer, softball, men's swimming & diving, women's tennis and volleyball). UF has now has a total of 213 SEC titles since the league began in 1932 and 116 of those SEC titles have come under Foley's watch. In addition, the lacrosse team won its third consecutive American Lacrosse Conference title in just the program's fourth year. Florida swept the Halifx Media Group Southeastern Conference All-Sports Titles for the 13th time in 2012-13.

Individually, 16 Gators claimed a total of 10 NCAA individual titles in 2013. Junior Eddie Lovett won the 60-meter hurdles and sophomore Marquis Dendy took the indoor long jump title. At the NCAA Outdoor meet, three event titles went to the Gators on the meet's final day. Senior Omar Craddock claimed his second consecutive NCAA triple jump title. Antwan Wright, Hugh Graham, Jr., Leonardo Seymore and Dedrick Dukes won the 4x100-meter relay title. The team title was sealed with Florida's 4x400-meter win by Najee Glass, Graham, Jr., Dukes and Arman Hall.

Junior Elizabeth Beisel, a two-time Olympic medalist at the 2012 Games, took the 400 individual medley win at the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships. The quartet of Pawel Werner, Sebastien Rousseau, Marcin Cieslak and Dan Wallace combined to win Florida's second NCAA 800 free relay title of the last three years. At the NCAA Gymnastics Championships, freshman Bridget Sloan took both the all-around and balance beam titles. Junior teammate Alaina Johnson became the first Gator to claim the NCAA uneven bars crown with her win.

Florida was also successful away from the athletic arena in 2012-13. A total of three UF student-athletes earned Capital One Academic All-America honors and Beisel was named the 2012 Capital One At-Large Academic All-American of the Year. Of the top 10 programs in the 2012-13 Learfield Sports Director's Cup Standings, Florida is one of seven to post a NCAA Graduation Success Rate of 82 percent or higher in 2012.

Gators by the Numbers

- 2 NCAA team titles (gymnastics and men's outdoor track & field) marks the fourth consecutive season of multiple team titles for the Gator program.

- 12 top-10 national finishes by 2012-13 teams.

- 9 conference titles by the Gators in 2012-13, including 8 Southeastern Conference wins (equals league record).

- 10 Gators picked up conference player of the year/athlete of the year awards

- 4 Gators named Capital One Academic All-Americans, including one Academic All-American of the Year.

- 82 percent Graduation Success Rate for UF, as reported last fall in 2012 NCAA Federal Graduation Rate Data. Of the top 10 programs in the 2012-13 Learfield Sports Director's Cup Standings, Florida is one of seven to post a GSR of 82 percent or higher in 2012. All Gator teams are in good academic standing in latest Academic Progress Report released earlier this month by the NCAA.

- $73.9 million contributed since 1990 by the UAA to UF to fund academic endeavors, including $6.4 million in 2012-13.

- More than 1 million fans attended 176 home events in 2012-13. Five UF teams ranked among the nation's top 10 in attendance.

- 324 student-athletes participated in 2,864 hours of community service in 2012-13, partnering with 24 local schools, four civic organizations and 27 non-profit organizations.

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